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Who is the greatest of all time?

Muhammad Ali Sugar Ray RobinsonBy Mark Havey: Boxing writers, fans, boxers and trainer have always debated as to who is the greatest. There has been so many formidable, courageous and talented boxers. They have given inspiration and entertainment. I have spent so many good times debating with friends on the subject and I think it is a brilliant way to test who knows boxing, and who claims to know.

Muhammad Ali was quick to call himself ‘The Greatest’ and he wasn’t far wrong. He had a long reign spanning 3 decades whilst facing the best heavyweights in the world. he was involved in epic fights and was the best at promoting himself. He would talk the talk, and always backed it up.

But for me there is one man who should be hailed as ‘The Greatest’. That man is Sugar Ray Robinson. His style represented everything I like about boxing. He was a warrior who could brawl and demonstrate skill. His level of fitness was phenomenal and his chin was made of iron. He always stated that he disliked violence yet his aggression was unparalleled. He amassed a recorded of 173-19-6-2 KO’s 108. That is impressive in itself. 200 fights in 25 years is unheard of in this era. His battles will always be classics. Muhammad Ali said this of Robinson “the king, the master, my idol”. That says it all. When asked on the comparison Sugar Ray Leonard said “believe me, there’s no comparison. Sugar Ray Robinson was the greatest”. The term pound 4 pound was created by boxing writers specifically for Sugar Ray Robinson.

The problem with Robinson is that he fought for too long. He still has a record that is hard to beat, but there was a time when his record would have been untouchable. In 1951 he had a record of 128–1–2. After that he suffered losses at regular intervals but still continued until 1965.

After such an incredible career it would have been nice if he could retire to a comfortable life. However that was not to be. He spent his retirement in poverty after spending everything he had earned. In Robinson’s later years he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He died in Los Angeles at the age of 67. who would you say is the greatest of all time?

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